sabato 22 marzo 2014

My Bosses, by Pasquale Pistorio

“I’ve learnt a lot from all my bosses,” says Pasquale Pistorio, founding CEO of STMicroelectronics, “Bob Heikes was one of the greatest strategists I ever met and a visionary. I learned the importance of delegating from him, and how to match your dream with practical problems. Bob was an excellent boss and he probably had the greatest influence on me. Many people who worked for Bob did well in their careers later on.”

“In the States I always respected Tom Connors – he was never my boss direct, he was always a little bit higher – but I was always very close to Tom. Eventually, when I became the international general manager in the US, John Welty was my boss and I also respected him a lot.”

“All my experiences with my bosses in Motorola were good. My first boss was Dedy Saban – one of the most hard-driving people, very aggressive and very friendly. He taught me to be determined, to be persistent, to be hard-driving. Dedy went to Fairchild and, many years later when I was general manager, I hired back Dedy. So I worked for Dedy and he worked for me. We had tremendous respect for eachother. As both a boss and a subordinate the rapport was always outstanding.”

“Then when I was regional manager for Italy between 1968 and 1970, my boss was Jim Finke – the marketing manager for Europe. Again he was a great boss for me. He was a great strategist, liked Europe very much, he was very sensitive to the cultural differences in Europe and the richness of the culture, he was very well educated. He taught me the importance of cultural value and how to maximise these differences and how to cope with the American culture.”

Asked if the American company culture come as a shock, Pistorio looks surprised. “For me? No. I fit very well in the American culture, I found it very easy, and I think my American colleagues found me very easy. I’m a very basic person, and I think Americans are basic people and like basic people – they think that if you are performing, you are a good man; that if you are not performing you are no good. I am the same. So I think it was an easy fit.”

Does he really see himself as basic? “I’m a little bit more than basic”, laughs Pasquale “but I think the basics are very important. I think values like honouring what you commit to do, not changing your mind, being at ease with yourself, having business integrity in the broad sense are essential. I value these things in the American culture, and they are values which I have been adopting myself all my life.”

“My 17 years at Motorola were very good. They taught me a lot. I learnt to be a manager coping with the human side of the Italian environment and the European environment, while also coping with the American rigour of business practicality. And this, in the end, is my managerial style – marrying American rigour with a good sensibility for people.”